Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chronicle Books: Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics by Dolly Parton and Robert K. Oermann

Shadow Mountain: Along a Breton Shore by Arlem Hawks

Christy Ottaviano Books-Little Brown and Hachette: Hannah Sharpe, Cartoon Detective by Janet Tashjian, illustrated by Jake Tashjian

Andrews McMeel Publishing: The Mysteries by Bill Watterson and John Kascht

Mariner Books: The Night Parade: A Speculative Memoir by Jami Nakamura Lin

Frayed Pages X Wattpad Books: The Burning by Anna Todd

Tor Books: Starling House by Alix E. Harrow

Quotation of the Day

'Mining for Gold'

"Consumers can't make any decision about whether or not to patronize a business or buy a product until they know it exists. And while Annie Bloom's has been around for 35 years, and currently has a website and a Facebook page and an extensive e-mail list, there is still a vast pool of potential visitors in our area who don't know about us.

"That fact is the motivation for publicity efforts that are now part of my daily routine. What I've learned during the past few years is that even with social media platforms and instant access to all kinds of data banks, word of mouth is still a great marketing tool. Every time I make a personal connection at the grocery store, the bank, post office, or even a parking lot (yes, I do occasionally talk to strangers while walking to my car), I try to mention Annie Bloom's, and in nearly all cases the other person has never heard the name before.... I don't find this trend discouraging in the least. It's not unlike mining for gold."

--Jeffrey Shaffer, writer and a bookseller at Annie Bloom's Books, Portland, Ore., in a post for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association's NW Book Lovers blog.

Atria/One Signal Publishers: Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education by Stephanie Land


Connecticut's Monte Cristo Bookshop to Become Cooperative

The Monte Cristo Bookshop, New London, Conn., is being converted to a nonprofit cooperative with a nine-member board of directors, the Day reported.

The store was founded in late 2012 by Gina Holmes and Christopher Jones, who last June put the store up for sale, saying that the business was profitable but not enough to support their family. Jones is returning to school for a computer science degree.

Michael Whitehouse, a marketing consultant, is becoming executive director of the bookstore. Whitehouse has had experience in converting private enterprises into cooperative, having overseen a similar switch of his own first business, Phoenix Games, to Worlds Apart Games, a collective in Amherst, Mass.

At first, Whitehouse considered buying Monte Christo, the Day said, but decided that the business needed to be a nonprofit cooperative. He'll hold a meeting on August 11 at the store to explain its new structure and seek volunteers.

Jones and Holmes are donating the store inventory to the cooperative and will help out for at least several months. The store aims to hold a grand reopening on August 23 and 24.

Rough Guides: The Rough Guide to Top LGBTQ+ Friendly Places in Europe (Inspirational Rough Guides) by Rough Guides

S&S's New 'Behind the Book' Videos Feature Editors, Publishers

Simon & Schuster has launched "Behind the Book from Simon & Schuster," a series of videos featuring S&S editors and publishers "sharing anecdotes, professional insight and behind-the-scenes background on new and upcoming titles." The videos are available on S&S's YouTube channel and on the publisher's site, and are intended to complement S&S's author videos, offering more information to "enhance and inform the reading experience."

Produced by S&S's Studio4 video production facility, the first five videos feature S&S's Ben Loehnen discussing why he acquired The Boom by Russell Gold; Gallery Books's Lauren McKenna in conversation with Mary Alice Monroe, author of The Summer Wind; S&S publisher Jonathan Karp on Rick Perlstein's The Invisible Bridge; Atria's Peter Borland discussing his acquisition of Ruth's Journey by Donald McCaig, the authorized prequel to Gone with the Wind; and Gallery's Karen Kosztolnyik on Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen.

"Apart from the author, nobody knows a book as well as its editor, and our Behind the Book videos will share with readers some of the inside information and in-house perspective on a book's path to publication," Ellie Hirschhorn, executive v-p, chief digital officer of S&S, said. "With the rise of behind-the-scenes videos, publications like Entertainment Weekly and author-reader interaction on social media, we've seen that there is a large appetite for this type of deep background, and we think that Behind the Book will engage and entertain those readers looking for additional context."

U.K.'s 'Books Are My Bag' Campaign Highlights Patterson's Rafe

Author James Patterson is supporting the Booksellers Association's Books Are My Bag campaign in the U.K. with a new bag for schoolchildren featuring Rafe, the character from his Middle School series. The Bookseller reported that the BAMB bag for kids "will be available from independent bookshops at the end of August when children go back to school." A BAMB bag designed by Tracey Emin will be released in October for the launch of the second phase of the industry-wide campaign.

"I am delighted to support the Books Are My Bag campaign and, in particular, to help develop the campaign's appeal to children," said Patterson. "Bookshops are important for all of us but I am particularly passionate about getting more children to read. I think a crucial part of this is getting as many children as possible into the fantastic bookshops across the country, so they can browse the shelves and see what adventure and inspiration lies in the pages of books."

Obituary Notes: Warren G. Bennis, Robert Halmi Sr.

Warren G. Bennis, who wrote more than 30 books (including On Becoming a Leader) and "advised presidents and business executives on his academic specialty, the essence of successful leadership--a commodity he found in short supply in recent decades"--died last Thursday, the New York Times reported. He was 89.


Robert Halmi Sr., a photographer who became a producer of many film and TV series adapted from books, died on Wednesday, the New York Times reported. He was 90. Among his productions: Lonesome Dove, Call of the Wild, Gulliver's Travels, Crime and Punishment, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Don Quixote and In Cold Blood. In a 2007 interview, he explained: "I 100% believe that television is a bad thing. It took the books out of children's hands. I'm trying to do my little part to correct that."

Born in Hungary, Halmi was imprisoned by the Nazis and after the war, was jailed by the new Communist government. In 1950, he emigrated to the U.S., with only a Leica, a small suitcase and $5, he said. Soon he worked for Life magazine and became an internationally recognized photographer.

His completed memoir, Kid with a Camera, which includes a foreword by Isabella Rossellini and an introduction by Patrick Stewart, was recently sold by his agent, Steve Ross, to Lyons Press. Many of the editors at Lyons were recently let go, following Globe Pequot's purchase by Rowman & Littlefield, but Keith Wallman, recently promoted to editor-in-chief, has expressed confidence that the new ownership will proceed with the book's publication.

A Rockin' Launch for Kathi Kamen Goldmark Novel

The late Kathi Kamen Goldmark with her husband, Sam Barry

It's hard to believe that it's been two years since breast cancer robbed the world--and the publishing world in particular--of Kathi Kamen Goldmark, media escort, founder of the Rock Bottom Remainders, record and radio producer, and author of And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You. But this past weekend an event in what might be called the Kathisphere took place at Book Passage in Corte Madera, Calif., for the launch of her honky-tonk novel Her Wild Oats (Untreed Reads), which Goldmark completed shortly before she died.

Book Passage owner Elaine Petrocelli started the proceedings by saying she adored Her Wild Oats partly for the good writing and humor, but also because she could "hear Kathi reading every word of it."

Bandmate Amy Tan seemed to channel her friend's voice as she read the opening pages of Her Wild Oats, which describe in hilarious detail how Arizona Rosenblatt, an assistant to a high-powered music industry executive, prepares to leave her entertainment lawyer husband after discovering he keeps a secret gun, has been making donations to Jews for Jesus and other indiscretions--just hours after the couple fell asleep, as usual, watching CSI: Des Moines.

"She'd really like that you got that," Tan paused to observe about the Des Moines joke. "Kathi was the ultimate prankster." Tan recalled that the two exchanged wigs and ID laminates at a Remainders concert reception and someone believed Goldmark was Tan. "For the rest of the VIP reception, Kathi was giving this woman writing advice," said Tan, who signed copies of Her Wild Oats in Goldmark's stead, along with Goldmark's husband, Sam Barry, and another dear friend, Susanne Pari, author of The Fortune Catcher.

Amy Tan, Elaine Petrocelli, Susanne Pari and Sam Barry
Amy Tan, Elaine Petrocelli, Susanne Pari and Sam Barry

Together, Pari and Goldmark organized the now-defunct Book Group Expo; they bonded over books and being mothers of only sons. "When Kathi showed me the first draft of Her Wild Oats," said Pari, "I was not surprised to discover that one of the main characters--Otis Ray Pixlie, aka 'Oats'--is an unusually talented 13-year-old boy who communes with grown-ups easily and has a wacky mother... who, at one point in the story, says: 'I still think a party's a flop if it doesn't end in a jam.' That's pure Kathi."

This launch started with a jam, led by Barry and David Phillips from Kathi's other band, Los Train Wreck, which still jams monthly. Barry donned a wig to sing Kathi's signature number, "Older Than Him (The Slut Song)."

Sam Barry donned a wig to perform Kathi's "Slut Song" with David Phillips on guitar.

At the book launch, Barry shared his thoughts about Goldmark's many gifts, and said: "Above all, she was the world's greatest connector of people."

Barry's no stranger to connections or to what he called "Kathi Karma." Shortly after Kathi died, he recalled, her agent Joelle Delbourgo called him and declared they had to get Her Wild Oats published. They both knew that publishing a novel posthumously is always hard--even with a beloved midlist author like Goldmark--and were delighted when Untreed Reads not only bought the book, but made it their lead title and produced a print edition, which as the company name suggests, is not their normal mode. Jay Hartman, Untreed Reads publisher, said the company is picky about doing POD projects, but felt Her Wild Oats really deserved to be in both formats.

Barry knew he needed print books for events--and as the author liaison for the new Path to Publishing program at Book Passage, Barry knew where to kick off a mini-tour. Next month, Barry has arranged an offsite for Her Wild Oats in Oakland with A Great Good Place for Books that will include local authors like Peggy Orenstein reading for Kathi and, of course, live music. Later this year Barry will be joined by his brother, author Dave Barry, at the Miami Book Fair and might just don a wig again to represent Her Wild Oats at the Pulpwood Queens gathering in January. --Bridget Kinsella


'Which Porter Square Books Bookseller Are You?'

Ever wondered what type of indie bookseller you might be? Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass., offers a little help with "the only bookish personality test you will ever, ever need. Porter Square Books is staffed by a wide of range of characters all with different reading preferences, tastes, talents, and personalities. Find your bookseller match for insight into your reading tastes and get a list of recommendations to match." So, "which Porter Square Books bookseller are you?"

Best of Boston: Harvard Book Store, Brookline Booksmith

The Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., has been named Boston magazine's Best Bookstore in its 2014 Best of Boston issue. The citation reads, in its entirety:

"Here's one thing you can't do on Amazon: Roam the aisles, thumbing through new releases and used books. Also impossible: attending readings and lectures by Elizabeth Warren, Gary Shteyngart, B.J. Novak, and Thomas Piketty (his Harvard Book Store appearance was scheduled before he was famous, by the way). At a time when bookstores need to be much more than bookstores to survive and thrive, no other local shop offers so many reasons to turn into a bona fide bookworm. Lucky us."


Boston magazine also recognized Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, for having the 2014 Best Reading Series, writing, "Well into the Kindle era, Boston still hits out of its weight class when it comes to bookselling, and we treat big-name authors like visiting royalty. The Booksmith is where our memoirists, like Andre Dubus III and Gail Caldwell, and our suspense gurus, from Hank Phillipi Ryan to Joseph Finder, come to tell their tales. It's where Atlantic columnist James Parker throws a celebration of his literary magazine the Pilgrim--the one produced 10 times per year by the city's homeless population. And it's where Barney Frank turns up to talk baseball. In sum, it's the kind of place you keep going back to, because you never know what they're going to think of next."

Take the 'Libraries in Fiction Quiz'

"How are the books arranged in Umberto Eco's labyrinthine library in The Name of the Rose?" To celebrate the U.K.'s 50th anniversary of the Public Libraries Act, "establishing a statutory obligation to provide this service, as beloved in fiction as it is in real life. In its honor," the Guardian featured a "libraries in fiction quiz."

Personnel Changes at Skyhorse Publishing

Sam Caggiula has joined Skyhorse Publishing as senior publicity manager. He was formerly publicity manager at Rowman & Littlefield and earlier was director of publicity at Running Press.

Also at Skyhorse, Lauren Burnstein has been promoted to senior publicist from associate publicist.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Rick Perlstein on Morning Joe, Rachel Maddow

Tomorrow morning on Morning Joe: Rick Perlstein, author of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan (Simon & Schuster, $37.50, 9781476782416). He will also appear on Rachel Maddow.


Tomorrow on NPR's Diane Rehm Show: Ronald Rosbottom, author of When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316217446).

Movies: American Pastoral; Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) will co-star with Ewan McGregor in American Pastoral, based on the novel by Philip Roth and directed by Phillip Noyce. The Wrap reported that John Romano (The Lincoln Lawyer) "took on the monumental task of adapting Roth's novel. Lakeshore CEO Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi will produce the movie, which will start production in March in Pittsburgh."

"Jennifer Connelly is one of the great actresses of our time," said Rosenberg. "We always wanted her to play Dawn in American Pastoral and we're thrilled to be working with her."


The movie adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's Pride and Prejudice and Zombies "has been seeking big-screen life ever since the smash mash-up novel was published in 2009--but through a series of director changes, it sometimes looked like it had one foot in the grave," reported.

That is no longer the case. Principal photography is now scheduled to start in September on the project, which will star Lily James (Downton Abbey), Sam Riley and Bella Heathcote. Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down, Charlie St. Cloud) is directing.

Video Game: Ulysses in Virtual Reality

Ulysses virtual reality Irish filmmaker Eoghan Kidney has crowdfunded a creative, virtual reality solution to help readers (and nonreaders, presumably) of James Joyce's Ulysses "experience the book as the protagonist," USA Today reported, noting that In Ulysses "literally puts the player in Stephen Dedalus's shoes as he goes through Proteus, the infamously daunting third episode of the novel." The project topped its €4,000 (about US$5,370) goal.

"As a user of In Ulysses walks along a virtual Sandymount Strand, the book will be read to them--they will hear Stephen's thoughts as they are written--but these thoughts will then be illustrated around the user in real-time using textual annotations, images and links," Kidney explained on the crowdfunding site. "A user can stop walking (therefore stopping Stephen walking) and explore these illustrations, gaining insight into the book and adding to the enjoyment of it."

Books & Authors

Awards: Australian National Biography

Alison Alexander won the $25,000 (US$23,300) National Biography Award in Australia for her book The Ambitions of Jane Franklin: Victorian Lady Adventurer. The Sydney Morning Herald noted that Lady Franklin, "born in 1791, built a Greek temple, founded a scientific journal, married an Arctic explorer, adopted Aboriginal children, tried to rid Tasmania of snakes and, by her death, may have been the world's most traveled woman."

"I can't help feeling that Jane Franklin is at the moment up at the pearly gates, thinking: 'Well about time too--it's about time I'm getting my recognition, even if it is with the colonials, even if that wretched woman did discuss my sex life,' " Alexander said.

Book Review

Review: Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26 hardcover, 9780374141394, August 26, 2014)

In his 2007 memoir, Intern, Sandeep Jauhar recounted two years of a grueling internal-medicine residency. Doctored, which continues his story through his first five years of practice as a cardiologist at a large teaching hospital, shares with its predecessor its author's gift for precise, observant writing, and it offers an unsettling portrait of the state of American medicine today.

Eight years after graduating from medical school, Jauhar joined the staff of Long Island Jewish Medical Center as a cardiologist specializing in congestive heart failure, the treatment of which is a $40 billion annual business. Almost from the beginning, he was beset by relentless financial pressure, as he struggled to support his wife and newborn son in New York City on his hospital salary. Most of his angst was the product of a system whose financial incentives pit hospitals and physicians against each other and frequently run counter to what he considers optimal patient care. "The constant intrusion of the marketplace," he writes, "has created serious and deepening anxiety in our profession."

Desperate to increase his income, and with the encouragement of his older brother (a successful interventional cardiologist at the same hospital), he grudgingly moonlighted with a cardiologist in private practice, covering emergency-room calls and supervising often-unnecessary nuclear stress tests in satellite offices on weekends. That work only added to his frustration and cynicism. "I tried to practice ethical medicine, but it didn't pay," his harried part-time employer tells him, and Jauhar soon experienced that dilemma firsthand.

Doctored features many vivid accounts of Jauhar's encounters with patients and colleagues, illustrating the high-stakes ethical and professional decisions physicians face daily. These stories, often deeply personal, bring a human dimension to his sharp critique of a "system that makes us bad, makes us make mistakes." Whether Jauhar's writing about his nearly catastrophic failure to diagnose the heart attack suffered by a hospital intern or his regret over pressuring a patient to undergo a catheterization that led to his death, he is as unsparing in judging his own conduct as he is that of his profession as a whole.

Jauhar dismisses the oft-expressed claim that the American health-care system is the best in the world as "patriotic (but deeply misguided)." It will take much more than this book to restore the critically ill system to health, but we can thank its author for starting the conversation that may help speed a recovery. --Harvey Freedenberg, attorney and freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: Cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar's memoir is an often-blistering indictment of the American health-care system.

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